Looking For Great Caribbean Snorkeling

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amyeunice

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Hello All! I love the Caribbean because it is convenient from the NE US and not too expensive. I would love to know what people's choices are for great shore access snorkeling. Let me tell you more about me - I might as well be a diver. I wear a full length wet suit, cap, and gloves (I get the effects of fire coral even from a distance!). My wife and I generally spend a few hours in the water, thus the wet suits. We have snorkled in Caye Caulker, Belize; Bonaire; East Coast Costa Rica; St. John; and Culebra, PR. I think Culebra is great but we are here now and the coral seems like it's getting bleached. Does anyone have any suggestions for beautiful and prolific coral?
 

KathyV

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There's a lot of great snorkeling from shore around Grand Cayman, see Tsetudo's excellent guide at the link below. There are also inexpensive direct flights from various East Coast locations. The Caymans are expensive but there are ways to reduce the costs. But you should rent a car to fully enjoy the snorkeling opportunities. Have fun wherever you decide to go!

TESTUDO'S SNORKEL GUIDE Cayman Off the Beaten Path
 
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KathyV

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Another thought, have you considered Hawaii? The reefs are different, healthy hard corals rather than the soft corals and sponges of the Caribbean; but abundant, beautiful sea life and many creatures that you probably haven't seen before. But a much longer flight from the NE US than the Caribbean.

My experiences with Hawaii were with diving, but I am sure that someone on the board could advise you about the best snorkeling locations. Good luck!
 
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Skeptic14

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I agree with Kathy's assessment of Grand Cayman and Testudo's snorkeling guide. We had a rental car and tried a handful of the locations around the island, all were very good.

As a new snorkeler/diver I've only been a few places (Maui, GC, FL) but the snorkeling in GC was the best. Maui was excellent too but Rum Point on GC was unforgettable.
 

Trucha

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Curacao is good but if you've been to Bonaire it is probably about the same.
 

chillyinCanada

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I know you want Caribbean so I'll offer the tip of the island off of West Bay Beach and Halfmoon Bay (enter at Halfmoon Bsy Cabins) at Roatan. However, if you're willing to go further afield, try the Cook Islands!
 

Buliwyf

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Dominica's Champagne Reef isn't going to top anyones list here, but it was fun as heck for me. Little fish, best yellows, deep a heck only 100' from the shore. Whole island was like being in a national geographic exploration.Taxi's everywhere for $8.

But you'll need open heel fins and rubber sole booties. Rocks, urchins, etc.
 

diversteve

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I know you want Caribbean so I'll offer the tip of the island off of West Bay Beach and Halfmoon Bay (enter at Halfmoon Bay Cabins) at Roatan.
+1 for this idea. Here's an aerial of the area in question looking west- HMBCabins are the two white structures along the east side of the bay. On the other point of the bay by the condos looked like good snorkeling - one of the condo listings mentions it.

Additionally you can snorkel with the Dolphins at Anthony's Key Resort for a fee. It's about 5mins east by cab from this area. They have a day rate also now to use the facility.

Check with Luna Beach Resort also - it's maybe 1/2 mi. west in the image - Snorkel Map - maybe they have a day rate. At the far end of the image is West Bay.

half-moon-bay-aerial.jpg
 
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diversteve

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The BVI's have excellent snorkeling also. Several of the resorts on Virgin Gorda advertise that the reef is so lush there that boats don't enter the bays to keep from getting damaged. Also there's a lot of small un-inhabited islands, and boat operators who will drop you off or small powerboat rentals. Anegada is famous for good snorkeling also - DiveBVI runs a snorkel only boat there weekly.

Plus the Baths - arguably one of the top 10 snorkel destinations in the Caribbean.
Best Snorkeling beach - Virgin Gorda Forum - TripAdvisor
Also: Virgin Gorda Snorkeling | Caribya!

You get there via fast ferry from St. Thomas. Same like St. John just a longer ride.
 
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